Fedora’s Strategic Direction: An Update from the Council

The Fedora Council met last week in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It’s a lovely city, but rather cold, so we largely stayed within the interconnected network of enclosed bridges known as the Skyway — and in our conference room working. One of our main projects was the draft below. This is a follow-on from our update to the mission statement last year. It represents the way the Fedora Council would like the Project to make that mission a reality — a guiding policy. We’d like wider community feedback on this approach (and the write-up of it), after which we plan to include the final version in the project documentation.

— Matthew Miller, Fedora Project Leader

Fedora’s Mission

“Fedora creates an innovative platform for hardware, clouds, and containers that enables software developers and community members to build tailored solutions for their users.”

We do this within the context of the four foundations: freedom, friends, features, and first.

Context

The Fedora Council identifies the short-, medium-, and long-term goals necessary to keep the Project on the leading edge of technology. The Fedora.next initiative focused the outputs of the project around use cases. In 2017, we updated the mission statement to reflect changes in the computing landscape. Today, it’s too difficult to build new solutions in Fedora.

Our Approach

We will make it easy for the community to build solutions, address specific developer problems, and meet their end users’ specific needs. We will do this by encouraging and helping Objectives which make the necessary changes required to ease the process. This accelerates the transformation of Fedora into a community that enables the construction of solutions.

Internally, Fedora focuses on enabling these solutions to be built. The outputs of Fedora are the Solutions our community members build. Our focus on enablement allows experimentation without prior judgement or gate-keeping.

What does this mean?

Teams such as Design, Documentation, Packagers, Release Engineering, and Quality Assurance provide building blocks and offer services to other community members and Teams. Services and building blocks include: CI infrastructure, community building advice and guidance, event funding, logo services, RPM or other software packages, swag, testing and validation, user support, or UX design.

Anyone may use Building Blocks like software packages and artwork to create a Solution. Solutions include: Fedora Workstation, KDE Plasma, and the Python Classroom Lab. Teams define criteria for services they provide to solution-builders. For example, teams providing press and promotional support may choose to provide additional support to Solutions with larger user bases.

Teams are free to define elements of their Solutions, such as intent, deliverables, and release cadence. Teams can build Solutions from any building block and pick and choose what tools they use. Based on their choices, they get different levels of ability to use the Fedora trademark (i.e. “Fedora Remix” vs “Powered by” vs “Fedora”). Some solutions are the premier showcases that we call Editions; these are used in the gating tests for our releases.

Categories: Council, Fedora Project Community

8 Comments

  1. Hi Matthew, I like what I read so far. I have a feeling many will like this too. But is this much different than what we have already? From my perspective, most of these building blocks have existed for years but could be communicated more effectively. What is the strategy to do things differently this time? I reached the end of blog post and felt like something was missing.

  2. I actually like that response — I think this is the direction we’ve been going for a while, and nothing should be too surprising to people who are deeply involved or closely following along. But it does need more effective communication, so this is a step towards that. When I talk to people outside the project, it’s common to assume things like “Fedora is a desktop Linux distro” or “Fedora is an RPM-based testbed for RHEL”. Those things are part of the puzzle, but they’re not the big picture.

    But that said, I do take the feedback that we need a punchier concluding section. 🙂

    • Cool. Recognizing these things at the top-level of Fedora is a good move. Connecting different parts of the community together was the founding vision for CommOps three years ago, but I learned it is easier said than done. However, there are surely ways we could have been more effective at this goal.

      The devil is in the details with this proposal, but I also recognize nothing big happens overnight. I hope the Council is ready to make this commitment, and I am ready to do my part to support this ambition in the community.

      I eagerly await to hear what’s next!

  3. I’d like to hear, at the end of the post: “Fedora is the Linux Desktop”.

  4. At this point, I like what I read. Definitely the post look like it lacks of conclusions. E.g. for me as part of Marketing, it’s hard to create a strategy to promote anything had been written there, as we are executioners of the messaging going out from Council and Mindshare.

    Definitely we need a way to promote Fedora out of the idea “testbed for RHEL”, and after the IBM-RedHat deal this becomes a priority for Fedora.

  5. The article is great! I just wanted to point out a missing “.
    The last sentence, where it says vs Fedora”, should be vs “Fedora”.

  6. I think it is a pretty hard read. English is my second language, and I usually don’t have trouble understanding written English, but this piece left me puzzled with what the whole text was saying at times.
    This sentence breaks my mind:
    “We will do this by encouraging and helping Objectives >which make the necessary changes required to ease the process. … <

    – thanks

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